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(2 videos found here)
i wanted to make this post a few days ago but didn't get into it. then i realised today is 29 feb. a day that occurs once in every four years, so i must make a post. so here i am. yes i wanted to write about what happened at the anti-lyans protest in penang on sunday, 26 feb, of which i was present. i try to think of some heading… like my facebook album heading 'umno/perkasa samseng' or something to that effect but i thought i'd better not mention that 3 words. then lo and behold, i came across this article by one othman wahab in the malaysian insider and the heading above came from him. (refer his article, 2nd last line.)
as always, this will be my ramblings on an issue, personal ramblings, so i'm going to write whatever comes out of my mind, straight out. so it is not meant to be a "very good write-up/article!" thingy (like writing for the media or report).
why was that phrase used? you see, lately i'm sure you came across so many incidents of violence and intimidation by umno or perkasa members against the opposition or members of the public (esp. NGO) holding events or forum. remember the ABU/HINDRAF ceramah in klang? then just recently anwar's car was targeted and his daughter, nurul was nearly attacked. then of course we have this gang of thugs from umno and perkasa (it was said the umno youth came all the way from seremban) disrupting the anti-lynas protest in penang. i'm going to talk about this.
it seemed that the police were present when the umno/perkasa hooligans went wild and began shoving and pushing people, yet they didn't do anything. then when the CM was there and he was going to leave, these umno/perkasa samseng try to get near him and also try block his car and hit his car. all this while the police were there but they did not try to stop those umno/perkasa goons. why? especially when it was the chief minister! merely because the police were beholden to umno! they did not want to take action. if it's the other way round… pakatan supporters trying to intimidate umno supporters, you bet the police will come in at once. the proof is there! in a video captured by my fellow CJ (citizen journalist), lim. watch this video and look out esp. around nos. 0150, 0250, 6.00, 7.50. i will put up this video here anyway… including another from bulletin mutiara (penang government).
can you believe it? the CM said those hooligans had called out "“Cina Babi, Penang Cina bodoh, babi sokong Lim Guan Eng Ketua Menteri”, and also not forgetting a host of expletives in the hokkien language (which i understand, most people of non chinese like to use e.g. the one that start with 'c', 'p' and 'l'). can you imagine that? weren't they being racist? weren't they being vulgar? yet no action on them… police not charging them, none of the umno/perkasa chief spoke up to condemn them. if it's the other way round… gosh, you will hear at once ibrahim ali crying out for blood… or those umno MP making noises. sadly… they remain silent. what does this tell? they silently support the gangsterish attitude?
NOTE: i'll continue writing here some other day as now it is going to be midnight soon. better post this first before 29 feb flies away! anyway i'll continue writing from here but below you can still see othman wahab articles and the two videos.
UPDATED: 7 march
you see the umno people getting violent so much… why do you think so? could it be they are taking the cue from najib's cry of something 'crushed bodies' (or what… i forgot) to win back selangor? they want to win back not only selangor but the other PR controlled states. so they are resorting to violence. what a shame!
ok today (7 march) i came across another good article by josh hong of malaysiakini regarding this very true fact of umno turning thuggish, so i'm going to post it here. actually there had been a number of articles and not forgetting readers write letters regarding this issue – violence and intimidation from umno but i like this one, so pick this to post. (mainly because of the heading… which was what i had used before… the word 'thuggish'.
Standing up against political gangsterism — Othman Wahab
February 29, 2012
FEB 29 — What would you do if a group of individuals constantly threatened you, used thuggish language and behaviour to intimidate you and your family, friends and neighbours?
How would you react if your legitimate right to express your opinion or gather as a peaceful assembly to express an opinion on a matter close to your heart, is challenged by gangsters and politicians behaving in such manner?
What would you say if your brother or sister attending a political gathering was assaulted by thugs who are acting with the support of the government?
Would it be acceptable to you if your elected representatives are being threatened with bodily harm, abused with racist epithets and prevented from speaking to Felda settlers by thugs?
Is it alright that journalists or social activists are being threatened by these gangsters and that the police watch like uninterested spectators?
What do we make of police inaction after 10 men were arrested for putting up posters defaming Ambiga Sreenivasan and A. Samad Said of Bersih?
I believe that these are questions we need to answer, because in recent weeks, Mohamed Sabu, Nurul Izzah Anwar, Lim Guan Eng, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad and other Opposition members have been threatened by Perkasa and Umno Youth members. Two Chinese newspaper journalists were assaulted.
Mind you, we are not talking about “kongsi gelap” (triads) but state-sponsored intimidation and violence.
One last question: Would you stand idly and give in to this gangsterism by Umno/Perkasa?
Umno turning thuggish
11:37AM Mar 2, 2012
I was asked recently by a Thai friend if Malaysia had seen the kind of political violence that Thailand suffered two years ago, the reverberations of which are still keenly felt within Thai society today.
I answered with an emphatic ‘no’ and in a rather complacent manner, explaining also that, unlike other Indo-Chinese countries, Malaysia has a ‘highly professional and neutral’ military.
“To Malaysians, coup d’etat is as alien as winter.”
Strangely, I could feel a chill in my bones after saying this. Sooner or later, I may come to regret my false confidence and wishful thinking.
By now, it is becoming abundantly clear that Umno is bent on staying in power by hook or by crook. Just before the Bersih 2.0 rally last July, the police announced that they were ready to work with the armed forces in controlling the participants. Why call in the army? As it turned out, the police – armed with teargas and water cannons – were more than capable of charging at the peaceful crowds, despite their dismal records in tackling street crimes.
Since late last year, there has been a series of violent incidents involving thugs linked to Umno. From Asal Bukan Umno (Anything But Umno) public forums to opposition functions to other NGO events, unknown youngsters would appear from nowhere and threaten to harm the speakers and attendants, the latest victim being a journalist covering the anti-Lynas protest in Penang last Sunday.
After the attempts to disrupt ceremahs by Anwar Ibrahim in Sembrong and Nurul Izzah Anwar in a Felda estate, surely there will be more thuggery aimed at the opposition and civic rights bodies that are perceived as unfriendly towards the government.
I am certain those unruly youths are linked to Umno because, as one can see, they only wreak havoc at events that are against the interests of the ruling coalition. Given all the bad press by Utusan Malaysia, New Straits Times and The Star, the last thing that the opposition wants is more propaganda fodder for Umno by getting rowdy.
Of greater concern is the conspicuous silence of Umno bigwigs.
When Najib Abdul Razak edged out Abdullah Ahmad Badawi three years ago so that he and his vainglorious wife got to occupy Seri Perdana sooner than planned, the mainstream media heaped praises on him as being ‘outstanding’, ‘self-assured’, ‘moderate’, ‘gifted’ and ‘adept’.
But this man has turned out to be an utter failure at a time when leadership is called for, and his playing with ignorance is a walking embarrassment for those who had rushed to eulogise him prematurely.
But my biggest worry is those young people who seem to have nothing better to do but engage themselves in delinquency and hooliganism. What has gone wrong with them? Would they have chosen this path if other options such as proper education and a decent job were available to them?
Would one allow one’s own children or siblings to go astray like the Umno-sponsored thugs? I am posing this question even to Umno supporters and the non-partisan voters.
Exploiting socially-marginalised youths
What is most despicable, deplorable and shameless is that none of the Umno leaders – certainly not Najib, Muhyiddin Yassin and Mahathir Mohamad – would permit their young ones to go anywhere near the violent scenes, yet they are turning a blind eye to the fact that lower-echelon politicians have been exploiting the socially marginalised youths for their own selfish interests!
One can have a myriad of reasons for Umno to remain in power; what matters most is whether the argument is conveyed rationally and in peace. Resorting to and condoning violence will only radicalise our national politics, potentially to the point of no return.
Since the next general election is widely perceived as a do-or-die battle, Umno is going all out to ensure its own survival.
Arming and paying the jobless youths to strike fear into the general public is simply one of the many dirty and ugly tricks used to halt the opposition and civil society from making further inroads; it is also a perfidious scheme that reminds one of Robert Mugabe’s reign of terror: the elites are racing against each other to embezzle public fund and to enrich themselves, while the young generation is left with no future to look forward to.
The saddest truth is that these young people could have been given a better choice if Umno had run the country responsibly and with integrity. Instead, they are now taught to embrace thuggery as a matter of course, and may end up being trapped in the vicious cycle, all in exchange for peanuts.
Is a raw deal as such all that Umno can offer the young Malays? Does one not shudder at the prospect of a country filled with thuggish youths? Why can’t Umno opt for the culture of civil debate? Isn’t ruffianism the strongest sign of running scared?
The more Umno connives at political thuggery, the more it proves its rampant corruption and dearth of true leadership.
Eduardo Galeano, a leftist writer from Uruguay, once said: “The most terrible crime that could be committed against the poor is to steal their hope; it is even worse than murder, because hope is often all that poor people have left.”
Now it is evident that not only is Umno robbing the poor of their hope; it is also turning them into political mercenaries who will surely be dumped to face their own fate once the fight is over.
And there is no greater moral wrong than this, which is why I still feel the unbearable chill in my bones.
JOSH HONG studied politics at London Metropolitan University and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. A keen watcher of domestic and international politics, he longs for a day when Malaysians will learn and master the art of self-mockery, and enjoy life to the full in spite of politicians.